California Educator

November 2012

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RESOURCES TO RECOMMEND TO TEENS IN FOSTER CARE California Community Colleges Foster Youth Success Initiative liaison, who can guide them to support services that are available. Lisa Guzman (shown with her children and granddaughter) warns that it's difficult to gain a foster child's trust. "If you promise something, follow through with it." development with each new placement. So a 14-year-old with four lifetime placements may be closer emotionally to a 12-year-old. "Simple things like table manners may not have been learned," Pillay explains. "Be patient, because children are learning things in layers. Their par- ents may have been preoccupied, and a child never learned not to run and scream while at school. you immediately, warns Lisa Guz- man, Ada Givens Elementary School teacher and Merced City Teachers Association member. "If you promise something, follow through with it, because if you break that promise, it will take a long time to get that trust back, put them in a situation where they feel cornered or targeted. Keep them on task, but don't focus atten- tion on them in front of the class." As with any child who " she advises. "Don't Don't expect a foster child to trust " in general, haven't had a lot of structure. Listen to them. Let them know you are there for them. Tell them you care about them. Let them know you have high expectations." FOSTERING A PATH TO COLLEGE: RESOURCES "When it comes to college, the big- gest challenge for teens in foster care is learning how to navigate system." Blanca Arteaga, the foster youth liaison counselor at Gavilan College in Gilroy, says it is common for foster teens to apply to college and not follow up. She tries to track them down, some- times without success. "College is challenging if they are living at a friend's house or temporarily with rela- tives, don't have a job, and are experiencing trauma because they're moving place to place, acts out or can't focus in class, teachers should know not to take it person- ally, she says. The child is not reacting to the teacher; he or she is reacting to past events. "Consistency and good classroom management help, because these kids, 12 California Educator November 2012 Blanca Arteaga tion to the admissions application so we can identify and help them." Gavilan College Faculty Association member. "Yet many want to succeed and better their lives. I'm here to assist them any way I can. Our college recently added a foster youth ques- " says the Many California State Universities have the Guardian Scholars Program, which provides a scholarship, peer support, tutoring and academic support. Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) offices on college campuses provide access for educationally disadvan- taged students, who are eligible for financial aid including Pell Grants, Cal Grants for low-income students that do not need to be paid back, federal loans, fee waivers and scholarships. The California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth provides up to $5,000 a year for career or vocational training. Sometimes they need a space to talk when they are not in front of the other students. It usually doesn't take very long — and it' time well spent. CAROL LOCKE FOR MORE INFORMATION : divisions/studentservices/ fosteryouthsuccessinitiatives.aspx s

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